The Enormous Life of Anthony Bourdain, According to Those Who Knew Him Best [Drew Magary/GQ]

Anthony Bourdain’s friends and family remember his life and death. “That was a singular, brilliant, magnificent human being.”

Helen Rosner (food correspondent, ‘The New Yorker’): I remember sitting across from him at this table at this sort of sticky beer bar and him saying to me, “Helen, it makes a difference if you walk in the door saying, ‘I’m going to love it here,’ or you walk in the door saying, ‘This place is going to suck.’ ”

[Eric Ripert (chef, Le Bernardin; Tony’s close friend and frequent on-air guest)]: He never complained about anything. That was something that struck me about Tony. You could be hours in a car, or you could be in freezing weather, or you could be in a room with very unpleasant people, and Tony would not complain, ever….

[Morgan Fallon, of Zero Point Zero Productions, which produced Bourdain’s show and other food programming]: There were folks who wanted to put him at this fancy golf resort near the town of Welch, West Virginia. And they were like, “Tony will be more comfortable there.” I was telling them, “No. He’s gonna stay in town.” It’s old, it’s run-down, it’s not exactly comfortable. You can’t drink the tap water there. And Tony showed up there being like, “I love this little hotel!” And he’d just be sitting there on the front porch, screwing around with his phone, kind of absorbing the environment with no one messing with him. And I saw him truly comfortable and happy there.

[ZPZ co-founder Chris Collins]: Tony was also sorta klutzy.

[ZPZ co-founder Linda Tenaglia]: Very klutzy.

[Peter Meehan, co-founder, Lucky Peach magazine]: He had an AOL e-mail address.

Ripert found Bourdain’s body. He declined to discuss the event, or Bourdain’s final days, for this interview.

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